Injuries have been the story for the NBA Playoffs this season. It was such a problem that LeBron James tweeted about it in despair apologizing to the fans. Most of the NBA’s premier players are not deep into the playoffs this year. Normally this would be a cause for concern. However, this year’s NBA Playoffs is a young talent showcase. There were several young players that showed up and showed out in the playoffs this year. NBA fans are gonna have to get used to these new faces, because they’re gonna be here for a long time.
Why This Year’s NBA Playoffs Is a Young Talent Showcase
Our favorite players are getting old. This generation of players is preparing for the twilight of their careers. LeBron James is 36, Chris Paul is 36. Kevin Durant is 32. Steph Curry is 33. James Harden is 31. Carmelo Anthony is 37. Unfortunately, We’re facing the harsh reality that the NBA’s brightest stars are going to have to retire eventually. Therefore, the league needs new faces. New torchbearers for the next generation. Thus, even though it was riddled with injury, this year’s playoffs proved to be a showcase of the young talent. These new faces will carry the league when our favorite players leave. It’s time we get acquainted with them. Here are some of them and what they did.
Luka Doncic averaged 35.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 10.3 AST in seven games for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2021 Playoffs. He also played 40.1 MPG while shooting 49 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three. Luka Magic was on full display in seven games against the Clippers. Doncic dazzled NBA fans as he proved to be all that people thought he would be.
Beginning the series winning the first two games on the Clippers’ court, many speculated that the Mavericks would sweep the favorite Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. In a series that went back and forth having most of the games won by the away team, Luka put together one amazing display of brilliance. A performance in what many believe to be a glimpse into the future of what the face of the NBA maybe come. At just the age of 22 years old, Luka has proven to be an NBA superstar in his 13 playoff games. All against the Clippers.
All of his games have given us a taste of what Luka can and will become in the future. With step-back buzzer-beaters last season in the playoffs against the Clippers, one-legged 3-pointers this season, and everything in between. Luka continues to deliver an amazing display of brilliance. Now Luka only needs more help and depth within the Mavericks organization. Plus, a new head coach search is beginning in Dallas. Who knows what the ceiling is for this young Slovenian NBA player.
Trae Young has been under his whole career. He’s been an underdog, he’s been underrated, he’s been undersized. And he will always be under the watchful eye of that 2018 draft class. The draft where he was traded for Luka Doncic. But this season, mainly this postseason, Trae young proved to us that he is no longer under anybody. In fact, he is way above our expectations. Young averaged 28.8 PPG, along with 9.3 AST and 1.3 steals in 16 games for the Atlanta Hawks this postseason. Leading them to their first Eastern Conference Championship birth since 2015.
The mighty Dynamo put on a marvelous display of brilliance throughout the playoffs. Winning the first game of each round, scoring 48 points on the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the second round. Surprising all New York Knicks fans, and dismantling their entire playoff hopes. Trae Young showed us something that we never expected. Many had written him off in every series. No one expected the Hawks to go this far.
Their Cinderella playoff run, unfortunately, ended in six games against the Milwaukee Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, we salivated each and every round over the amazing play of this young 22-year-old point guard. No longer is he in the shadow of Luka Doncic. As he has had more success in the playoffs than the Slovenian juggernaut. Now we are questioning if Trae Young should have been the number one overall pick. However, that is yet to be proven as the number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft is in the NBA Finals at this moment in time. Nonetheless, Trae has proven that he deserves to be in that top five. That he deserves the accolades and recognition that he’s been given. And we will be seeing the Atlanta Hawks, and Ice Trae, for a very long time deep into May and June each and every year.
We’re used to seeing Jayson Tatum deep into the playoffs around this time every single season. Almost to the point that we’re bored with seeing him. And he’s only 23 years old. Tatum has made the playoffs each and every season of his young career. And each year he’s shown us displays of the greatness that is within him. This season he only played five games against the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics were missing Jaylen Brown. Plus they had a rough season due to players being in and out for COVID protocol. Yet, Tatum still showed us the amazing scoring Talent he is. And also the two-way player he’s going to grow up to become.
In five games Tatum averaged 30.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.6 AST along with 1.2 STL and 1.6 BLK. This full stat sheet provides a glimpse into the wide range of the amazing wing Jayson Tatum is. Even though the Celtics were given a gentleman’s sweep, Tatum did give us one game. And in that game, he showed us the full arsenal. Step-back jumpers, slithery layups, all the tools that delivered a 50-point night against the favored Brooklyn Nets. We saw glimpses of a KD-like game. Mix in a little T-Mac and a little Kobe, one of Tatum’s idols. All in all Jayson Tatum showed us that he’s going to be a force in this league for years to come. The ceiling has yet to be determined with the likes of 23-year-old Jayson Tatum and 24-year-old Jaylen Brown at the helm.
Watch out world, D Wade 2.0 is on the rise. The young 6’3″ guard has proven to exceed all expectations in his young career. At just 24 years old, Donovan Mitchell has proven that he is prepared to take on the mantle of being the next Dwyane Wade. Leading his team to the number one seed in the entire NBA, Donovan Mitchell played a total of 10 games this postseason. He missed the first game due to an injury that he was recovering from.
However, once he was on the court, the Jazz played all the way until they were beaten by the Los Angeles Clippers in Round 2. Spider Mitchell is also proving to become one of the next to take on the mantle of the best players in the NBA. Even though he’s playing in a small market, he is still garnering fans and is being mentored by one of the greats. A great who also has an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz. That happens to be Dwyane Wade 1.0. Mitchell averaged 32.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 5.6 AST with 1.1 pilfers PG this postseason
It’s time. The next coming of Kobe has finally gotten his chance to display his talents on the biggest stage. Now in the NBA finals, Devin Booker is finally getting the recognition and accolades he deserves. At 24 years old, the 6’5″ guard who dropped 70 points in his second season now has the opportunity to win a championship. Devin Booker is finally getting a chance after years of not making the playoffs.
Being another protege of Kobe, Devin Booker is taking on the mantle of the next mamba with no problem. Having a 47 point display in a closeout game against the Lakers in the First Round. Then helping CP3 dismantle the MVP in Nikola Jokic in four games in the second round. He even vanquished the Los Angeles Clippers in six games. And now, he’s facing off against The Greek Freak. Devin Booker has shown us that he is coming into his own. And that he is going to be a force in this league well for many years to come.
Booker is currently averaging 26.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.7 AST in 17 games. Devin Booker also had a 40-point triple-double in the Western Conference Finals Game 1 against the Clippers and Chris Paul was out due to COVID protocol. He is showing every piece of his offensive and defensive game in these playoffs and is taking advantage of the opportunity to win at the highest level. We’ve been watching, we’ve been waiting, and anticipating this moment for Devin Booker. And he has not let us down at all.
It’s time to give him his flowers, in that the basketball world knows his name. Because for six years he’s been in basketball purgatory, and now he’s out in the lights and he’s destroying everything.
The 7’0″” Arizona alum from the Bahamas. Deandre Ayton is showing us why he deserves to be the number one overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. The same draft with Luka Doncic and Trae Young. He’s gone the farthest in the playoffs of 2018 top 5. And he has been showing us why he’s a true big and worthy of that moniker. Ayton has gone up against the likes of Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, DeMarcus Cousins, and now Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo. And not once did he show a glimpse of fear. In 19 games, Ayton has put up 16.3 PPG and 11.9 RPG in a dominant display, especially for a young big man.
Despite coming into the same draft as Young and Doncic, Ayton has held his own. Now, we are witnesses to what he really is made of. Watch as he continues his amazing play behind Chris Paul and Devin Booker. With two more games to go to win an NBA Title, Ayton is looking to be a force in the middle and defend the rim against the super-powerful offensive Milwaukee Bucks. Even though it seems like it’s a new task for him, he doesn’t seem to be afraid of handling it.
What more can we say about this John Wall and Westbrook clone? The 2020 Rookie of the Year snuck into the playoffs after defeating the Steph Curry-led Warriors in the play-in game. Then proceeded to give the Jazz a run for their money in five games. He even had a 47 point game one of the league’s best defensive teams in the Jazz. In five games, Ja Morant averaged 30.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 8.2 assists. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance and amazing leadership out of this young athletic guard. This year we were able to peer into the future and be amazed at what could be with Ja. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies were defeated in the First Round, but that didn’t stop them from stealing Game 1 on the Jazz’s floor. Ja is showing that the Grizzlies are coming, the rest of the league take heed.
The Future is Bright
This year’s playoffs showcased the young NBA talents. And we were treated with the ability to see the new faces of the NBA on the biggest stage. Thus, As many of the old faces begin to fade away we can be assured that the league is in good hands thanks to these young talents and many more.